Deputy President David Mabuza has already engaged with mining houses to handover unused land to government to be rehabilitated for agricultural use.
Mabuza was speaking at the land solutions summit hosted by agriculture publication Landbou Weekblad and AgriSA in Bela Bela, Limpopo on Thursday, where farmers presented their perspectives and solutions on reviving rural areas and land reform.
He said government would be targeting unused and under-utilised government land, as well as land owned by mining companies, which is no longer used for mining.
“To address the competing interests between agriculture and mining, I have already started a process of engagement with the mining houses to make sure that land owned by mines which is no longer available for mining, is rehabilitated for agricultural use.
“Government will work with the agriculture sector in this regard to ensure that this land is properly rehabilitated and put to productive use,” Mabuza said.
But absent farmers might also lose their land as it could be transferred to those who will use it.
“We also have agricultural land that has absentee farmers and is lying fallow. Such land will be transferred to the people who will put it to productive use.”
He urged farmers to trust government as the land reform process would pose no threat to the economy or the agricultural sector.
“As the leadership of the ANC and government, we are clear that the implementation of land reform measures must not result in social fractures and racial polarization. The land reform process that we are undertaking pose no direct threat to agriculture sector and the economy as a whole.”